Heavy urban search-and-rescue team from B.C. ‘self-deploys’ to earthquake region

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Feb 08, 2023 – Wolf Depner/Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

At least one heavy urban search-and-rescue (HUSAR) team based in B.C. has left to help earthquake victims in the Middle East.

“I understand that Burnaby HUSAR…has self-deployed,” Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, said Wednesday afternoon. “Vancouver (HUSAR) is also currently waiting for direction from the federal government. We stand ready to support however we can.”

Local and international organizations are currently responding to areas in Turkey and Syria following an 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Monday. The current death toll in the region affected by the quake is approaching 12,000, but its remoteness, winter conditions and geopolitical calculations part of the Syrian Civil War have hampered the response.

Ma said B.C. has three heavy, urban search-and-rescue teams: one in Vancouver, one in Burnaby and one in Surrey. HUSAR teams are cost-shared between Ottawa and the provinces with Ottawa picking up to 75 per cent of the costs.

“We are incredibly proud of how committed our HUSAR teams are and so proud that we have these teams of people, who are ready to support people throughout the world with their highly-trained expertise.”

Ma said Tuesday that B.C. has let Public Safety Canada know the province is willing to help, adding that the federal government is coordinating Canada’s response.

Read the full article at mapleridgenews.com.